Tam District Family Newsletter

November 2019


We have had a few challenging weeks in northern California with the wildfire in Sonoma and the power outages across several counties. A silver lining to being without power for a few days was the opportunity to sit in quiet contemplation. What came up for me was gratitude. I am grateful for many things, but in particular to serve this community and to work with this group of professionals. I was heartened by the offer of support to those suffering due to evacuations or for those for whom life without power is truly challenging. I am frequently reminded of, and touched by, the supportive nature of the Tam District community. Thank you, for being such a wonder community in which to work and live.

I would like to give a special Thank You to our school parent organizations for your ongoing support, without which we would not be able to provide our students the high quality experiences we do now. This year, the TUHSD School Foundations and Boosters contributed $374,000 directly to support instructional coaches, athletic trainers and graduation costs.

PSPS follow up

The PSPS scheduled for Thursday, November 21st has been canceled for Marin County. All TUHSD schools will be open on Thursday, November 21st and Friday, November 22nd.

We understand how disruptive PG&E's public safety power shutoff (PSPS) in late October was for our community. Maintaining continuity of instruction is always best practice, therefore we strive to keep schools open whenever it is safe to do so. During the most recent PSPS, we worked closely with the Marin County Office of Education, other superintendents in the county and the Marin County Office of Emergency Services. We made decisions using the best information available to us at the time.

As a district, we will be submitting a waiver for the school days missed due to the PSPS. California Department of Education (CDE) requires 180 student days and in order to waive any of those days, we have to demonstrate the circumstances that caused us to close our schools were beyond our control. The CDE has indicated they will likely grant waivers for school days missed due to PSPS events in this current year. However, they have made is clear that school districts should build emergency days into the calendar, such as some school districts that live in areas in which it snows do. We will be looking into what this might look like for next year and should we add any additional days to the calendar, via board approval of a new calendar, we will communicate that out as soon as possible. At this point, we do not anticipate having to add days to our current year calendar.

Some folks have asked why we needed power in order to open the schools. The short answer is to ensure student safety. Without power, our bathrooms and locker rooms are dark as they do not have sources of natural light and our fire suppression systems may become unreliable in a sustained outage. For each of our large school campuses, we are not ADA compliant without power and we cannot serve food, which we are required to do. In the event of a partial power outage, such as we had at Tam, we may be able to do a workaround by moving classes to buildings that have power and preparing food at Redwood and transporting it to the Tam campus. But when an entire campus is without power, we are not able to ensure student safety or comply with state and federal regulations for ADA and school nutrition.

Unfortunately, we are likely to face PSPS events in the future. As a District, we will continue to refine our protocols and do all we can to communicate effectively and as frequently as necessary. This is new territory for all of us and we will continue to learn and improve as we go. We also want to acknowledge that for some of our families it may be a hardship to miss work in order to be home with children during school closures. Our primary goal remains to provide our regular educational activities in a safe environment with as much continuity as possible. To this end, we will be looking into ways of keeping schools open during future power shut offs, but we are not yet able to do that. We will keep schools open when it is safe to do so.

Tam District Fall Sports Wrap Up

It was a very successful fall season for many of our Tam District sports teams. A huge CONGRATULATIONS and job well done to our student athletes who showed great sportsmanship and excelled on and off the field of play.

Drake High

Girls Water Polo- MCAL Champions

Girls Water Polo- NCS Champions

Boys Water Polo- MCAL Champions

Boys Cross Country- MCAL Champions

Tam High

Girls Tennis: MCAL Champions

Girls Tennis: NCS D1 Champions

Girls Water Polo: NCS D2 Champions

Girls Volleyball: Nor Cal D4 Runner up

Teams still participating: Girls Tennis, Girls Water Polo, Co-ed Cross Country

Redwood High:

Girls Freshman Volleyball- MCAL Champions

Girls Varsity Cross Country- MCAL Champions

Varsity Football- MCAL Champions

Hudson Grace- Boys Cross Country 1st Place

Teen Wellness Film Series

  • March 3, 2020 – Teen Wellness Film SeriesNot Alone at the Smith Rafael Film Center at 7:00pm. Screening + Panel Discussion. Presented by CFI Education and TUHSD Wellness - Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

  • April 21, 2020 - Teen Wellness Film Series – Film TBA at the Smith Rafael Film Center at 7:00pm. Screening + Panel Discussion. Presented by CFI Education and TUHSD Wellness - Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

For ticket information, please click here.

Budget Update

Chief Financial Officer, Corbett Elsen and I (Tara Taupier) recently concluded four Community Forums regarding our current Budget. Thank you to all who attended and for those who were not able to join us, please see the presentation we provided linked here. This budget update slide deck is also linked to the front page of our District website.

Family Resources

In recent months, our community has suffered the loss of young lives due to fentanyl overdose. This is an incredibly dangerous drug and some users may not be aware of its presence in the substance they are ingesting. If you are concerned about your student or are looking for resources, please contact your site administration team, your student's counselor or Wellness Coordinator.

Please see more information on fentanyl and how to discuss it with your students below.

Thanksgiving Break

All Tam District Schools will be closed Monday, November 25th-Friday November 29th for the Thanksgiving break. The District
Big picture